Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WIN (02/14/19)
TITLE: A Successful Blunder
By Francie Snell
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For weeks we rehearsed for cheerleading tryouts, one of the most thrilling events of the school year. The four of us choreographed a routine ending with an acrobatic fete’ none of the other teams would dare attempt. And leading up to that day, neither did we.
I assumed, theoretically, that standing on my friends' backs and then performing a handstand required no vast amount of expertise. After all, I was a gymnast and performed handstands every day in gym class. It would be so simple, I assured them as it played out in my mind... one foot on each of their backs, placing my hands on each of their shoulders, then kick my feet up and over, landing with my feet on the floor. Then for the final pose, I’d drop to the floor in the splits, as the other three girls created a pyramid behind me, with all of our arms held proudly in the air.
The crowd would go wild… I just knew it.
However, being only a freshman in high school, I guess I hadn’t fully grasped yet the concept practice makes perfect, because actually, I had never performed such a stunt before in my life. With naivete’, I reasoned that somehow, even with never actually testing our abilities, everything would play out smoothly without a hitch when that pinnacle moment arrived.
What could go wrong?
The time had finally come and it was our turn to prove ourselves before the school. The four of us huddled in the middle of the gym filled to maximum capacity. With all eyes on us, we fearlessly began our routine flailing our arms and stomping in one accord. Every movement, every shout executed with precision. Then for the grand finale, Allison and Bobby crouched on their hands and knees, side- by- side, preparing for my ascent onto their backs.
Nervously I stepped up onto their backs and quickly realized their frail physiques were nothing like a gymnasium floor. Simultaneously they wobbled and then collapsed out from underneath me. One rolled to the right, the other to the left, as I plummeted to the floor between them. Behind us was Kendi, the fourth girl, and the only one standing.
It couldn’t end this way, the three of us sprawled helplessly on the floor. I jumped to my feet, darted around the bodies and out in front of them. Sliding down into the splits, hands in the air, I yelled victoriously and alone ,“Go-Davis- Go!”
The auditorium exploded with laughter.
As the three of us climbed to our feet, straitening our skirts and disheveled hair, the laughter erupted into boisterous applause. The joyous response that filled the room was more exhilarating than anything I could ever imagine.
Although embarrassed by our failed performance, we laughed and giggled as we walked off the floor. No doubt we had lost the competition, but at least we had made the crowd laugh. We wouldn't know the winners for sure until the following day.
The next day, much to our surprise, we learned we had won the competition by a landslide, against two squads who had both performed flawless routines. We had been the underdogs. However, with our hearts joined in a quest to be cheerleaders, our team had tried and failed and yet won.
Overjoyed with the outcome, we had also learned a lesson. The following football season, we never performed a routine we hadn’t practiced in its entirety until it was the best we could make it. Never was there an acrobatic stunt that wasn’t first tried and tested. We had fun together, and learned that practice really does make perfect… well almost.
Carrying that memory into my adulthood reminds me to learn from my mistakes, be fearless, and try to have fun.
None of my attempts in life will ever be perfect, but if I just give it my best shot, I can rest in the fact that God will direct the outcome, even through my blunders. And maybe He’ll laugh too.
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